Hatch hosts panel discussion on the future of tailings management
Toronto, Canada—Tailings facilities and the risks associated with mine waste management have received a great deal of attention recently. Major recent incidents have identified an urgent need for the mining industry to work towards safer mine waste solutions globally.
In early March, Hatch gathered a panel of industry experts to discuss the future of tailings management. Panelists Luis Rivera, Executive Vice President at Gold Fields Limited; Dirk Van Zyl, Professor of mine waste management at the University of British Columbia; David de Launay, Chair of the Advisory Board at Enterprise Canada; Rafael Dávila, Hatch’s Global Director of Tailings and Mine Closure, and Chelsie Klassen, Hatch’s Director of Indigenous Engagement brought unique and diverse perspectives to the discussion on the design and operation of tailings facilities. Their lively exchange covered various issues around this topic, including new technologies, risk mitigation, government regulations, and community engagement.
The panel discussion sought to inspire more dialogue and encourage greater collaboration around mine waste management—a challenge faced by the entire industry. In his opening remarks, Joe Lombard, Hatch’s global managing director, Metals, expressed the critical need to address this issue. “Together, as an industry, we need to bring changes in our operations and the way that we manage tailings…Collectively, we need to find solutions in the way that we design and manage these facilities, and to share transparently in the communities that we operate in.”
Rafael Dávila’s keynote address, Mine Waste: Our Path Forward, touched upon the aspects that he believes are equally fundamental to the industry’s approach to mine waste and mine waste management: risk identification, governance, communication, and technology. “In my view, this [approach] will help to continue our path forward in a safe, valuable, and sustainable manner,” Rafael explained.
Davila stressed that achieving this goal calls more than ever for teamwork. It demands the cooperative work of all the parties involved: the mining industry, the engineering houses, academia, governments, and communities. Rafael said, “I firmly believe we can reverse the current trend if there is the will to consider better options that equitably encompass the financial, social, and environmental aspects.”
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